Trojan Horse #115, 116 - "On the move again"


Lt. Kathleen Black knew that her job had not ended when the transporter brought her and the precious module she carried to Main Engineering. It had only begun.

Engineering looked a lot better now. Some of the fallen structure was too heavy to shift and had been left where it was, people stepping over or ducking underneath. The warp core stood silent and dark, but the rest of the room had lights and more than half the terminals had power. There were several engineers on duty, and they cheered at the sight of the regulator. "Oh, don't celebrate just yet," Kitty said, straightening up. "I know enough about programming regulators to do the job. But does anyone here specialize in it?"

There was an engineer from the Lantree who worked on such things in his spare time, as a hobby. Kitty handed the heavy unit over to him for installation and reconfiguration. The latter would be the real trick, as the unit had been constructed to function in an entirely different class of ship. "We aren't that much different in size... not enough to make a difference anyways, I hope..." she mused, as she headed for her office.

Kitty checked her new roster. She'd taken on all of the surviving Lantree engineers and organized them into shifts, figuring that the work would help them through until they could grieve properly. So far, it seemed to be working.

She hmmed at a special note left in her message box. It seemed that Commander Petrova was leaving the ship early, taking a leave of absence to arrange her late father's estate. Kitty frowned and sighed, sitting back, taking a moment to be glad that her grandparents were alright... she hoped... The knee surgery for her grandfather would have happened by now, but it was routine, right?

Kitty spent some time checking messages, setting up more repair schedules, and tweaking the roster, until she was satisfied. Then she headed out into the main room in time to find the Lantree engineer putting the finishing touches on his programming. "I think she'll run now, sir," he said in satisfaction. "Rough and dirty, and we sure aren't up to spec, but we'll get to the nearest starbase." She looked over his work, praised it, and gave him the privilege of starting up the engines.

The warp core slowly lit up, a rumble slightly shaking the badly damaged vessel, indicators lighting up... engineers watching anxiously and tapping in a few codes here and there. Kitty listened for a moment with her eyes closed and then gave out a few formulas, adjusting the plasma mix, making it a bit richer. "We'd better be in for a full overhaul when we dock," she muttered.

Any theoretical casual observer outside of the crippled-looking USS Pegasus would see red and blue light bleeding back into the warp engines, dim at first, then brightening... and the ship slowly righted itself, helm becoming more responsive, power backwashing from the engines into the ship, lighting more windows and activating more terminals. Some of them only turned on long enough to spark and shut back down again. Kitty watched in satisfaction and then opened a comm channel to the bridge. =/\= This is Main Engineering... we have warp drive. Repeat, we have warp drive. We won't win any races, but we can maintain a stable field. Let's go home now, eh? =/\=

Caelen rubbed his forehead, his tactical officer in sickbay and the Lantree crew all dead. =/\=Roger that, Lieutenant...=/\= he said tapping in a few commands on his arm console, he then stood up and walked up to the Helm =/\=...Say, Lieutenant, do we have enough power to take the Lantree with us?=/\=he asked, if he could take the ship with them he would, if he couldn't then he would anyway.

Kitty blinked and almost choked. =/\= I hope I don't sound.. insubordinate by asking this, sir, but is that a joke? =/\=

=/\=Don't you think killing them for trying to help us is enough? I would like to get the bodies home, Lieutenant=/\= Caelen reacted immediately, perhaps a bit to pissed all of a sudden but quite truthful.

=/\=You won't get all of them anyways, sir...=/\= Kitty frowned, the sadness clear in her voice. =/\=But, well... We could give it a try. I'll enrich the mixture a little more. But we'd better be getting one heck of an overhaul when we dock, sir.=/\=

"I'm sorry?" Caelen was surprised at her initial reaction "What do you mean, won't be getting all of them?" he asked, not being informed of the 'cleaning' the away team did onboard the Lantree.

=/\= We had to.. clear some of the bodies out of the way, sir. =/\= Kitty's voice choked for a moment. =/\= There just wasn't _time_, and we had an insane tactical hologram trying to kill us... =/\=

=/\=WHAT!=/\= Caelen couldn't believe what he was hearing =/\= Who thought that up? =/\= but once he had asked that he knew the answer, there could only be one that was so cold and emotionless, Sulan, =/\=scratch that... =/\= he said =/\ better get me that power, Lietenant, otherwise I'm going to use that 'tactic' you used on those Starfleet officers and will take aim at those who were on the Away team =/\=

=/\= We can at least give it a try, sir. =/\= Kitty sounded downright miserable now, but she managed to keep herself from crying. =/\= Just tell me when. =/\=

=/\= Ten minutes ago... tell me when you're done =/\= Caelen responded coldly before closing the channel and walking back to the Captain's chair "Helm, Operations, wait for the ok from Engineering and then put a tractor beam around the Lantree and don't forget to extend out Warp field around the Lantree as well" he ordered, a headache was coming but he couldn't leave here, not now.

Kitty could be heard speaking to her own engineers. "Ok, increase the mix..." She gave out a few complex calculations. "And get ready to take the Lantree in tow.. it'll stress the regulator, but it's not our regulator anyways. Ready?" She turned her attention back to the bridge comm. =/\= We're ready for the tractor beam, sir, but it's going to be a rough ride. =/\=

=/\= I didn't sign up for Starfleet so I could get a pleasure cruise... =/\= Caelen spoke over the re-opened comline =/\=...thank you, Lieutenant, I'll meet you when we arrive at the starbase =/\= he said before turning to his Helm officer "Engage tractor beam and set a course for Starbase 47, maximum warp, engage"

=/\= Yessir. Engineering out. =/\= Kitty said rather succinctly and closed the channel. As the ship strained to reach warp, there were a few creaks heard here and there... a tremble, a shudder... as the Pegasus pushed into warp there was another shudder and a high whine for a moment, then everything settled down to a vibration a little more marked than usual.

Then Kitty allowed the fatigue to catch up to her... the fatigue and the horror, the worry and pain. She leaned against the wall, closing her eyes, putting her arms around herself and shivering slightly. When she opened her eyes again, Williams was in front of her. Good ol' Williams. "Go take a break, boss," he said. "You look like a wreck. I can handle this."

Kitty looked at him for a moment, then nodded numbly and left Main Engineering.


Captain Caelen LaBrie Commanding Officer USS Pegasus "I didn't join Starfleet for its pleasure cruises, Lieutenant"

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus

(Info on Petrova added by request from her player.)